The Aunt had succeeded in her claim that her retirement from a family trust of a farm had been procured by the undue influence of her nephew. The nephew now appealed. She had assigned her interest to her son, who then fell into disagreement about the rent to be paid by the farm to the trust, and about repairs. The appellant contrived a visit to the aunt, and persuaded her to sign a form to resign as trustee there and then after threatening her with court proceedings. She was 85. The form was not by deed and was invalid. He returned, gained admission and the execution of a deed, but misrepresented its contents.
Held: The appeal failed. This was is anything a case of express undue influence. To be undue influence: ‘The donor may be led but she must not be driven and her will must be the offspring of her own volition, not a record of someone else’s. There is no undue influence unless the donor if she were free and informed could say ‘This is not my wish but I must do it’.’ It was not clear that a threat of legal proceedings which was not unlawful might establish undue influence, but it can do so in appropriate circumstances. The defendant had no prospect of overturning the judge’s decision. As to the two classes of undue influence: ‘the difference between the two classes is that in the case of actual undue influence something has to be done to twist the mind of the donor whereas in cases of presumed undue influence it is more a case of what has not been done namely ensuring that independent advice is available to the donor.’
 EWCA Civ 507, Times 18-May-2005
England and Wales
Cited – Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No 2); Barclays Bank plc v Harris; Midland Bank plc v Wallace, etc HL 11-Oct-2001
Wives had charged the family homes to secure their husband’s business borrowings, and now resisted possession orders, claiming undue influence.
Held: Undue influence is an equitable protection created to undo the effect of excess influence of . .
Cited – Allcard v Skinner CA 1887
The donor had parted with almost all her property. She now sought to have the transaction set aside for undue influence.
Held: Where a wife has entered into a gratuitous transaction with her husband, the burden was on the husband as donee to . .
Cited – Huguenin v Baseley 1807
When undue influence is alleged, the law will investigate the way the intention to enter into the transaction was secured. Lord Eldon LC said: ‘Take it that she (the plaintiff) intended to give it to him (the defendant): it is by no means out of the . .
Cited – Hewett v First Plus Financial Group Plc CA 24-Mar-2010
The appellant appealed against a mortgage possession order, saying that she had been misled into signing the charge by a non-disclosure by her husband of an extra-marital affair he was conducting. The bank had not met the standards set in Etridge, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.224789